The Lausitzring weekend ended the summer break in the FIM Superbike World Championship class. In scoring two second places and 40 points in the comeback weekend Rea extended his lead over his own team-mate Sykes to 70 points. Sykes’ opening day podium at Lausitz, and second day fourth place, gave him 29 points in total this weekend.
Sunday’s race in Germany saw Sykes start from seventh place on the grid and Rea eighth, under the new rules which put the podium finishers from the first race onto the third row for race two. As on day one, Chaz Davies won the race, this time by 2.290 seconds.
A good start from today Rea saw him move up to third place on lap one, then take the lead on lap five, being passed by Davies on lap 11. Sykes made a good launch from his third row grid slot but touched the bike of another rider in turn one, losing momentum. Unable to pass other riders easily in the early laps he worked his way to fourth and finished clear of a battling group of riders behind him.
After nine rounds and 18 individual races Rea has 381 points, Sykes 311 and Davies 276. Kawasaki leads the Manufacturers’ Standings by 56 points.
Returning WorldSBK venue Portimao, in Portugal, will host the tenth round of the championship, one month from now.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Chaz was really solid in race two and his pace was good. When I had really good grip in the beginning I felt strong on the bike but as soon as I started to lose entry-traction the bike became very physical to ride. I was manhandling the bike and this is such a bumpy track. Yesterday’s race started to take its toll a little bit also. I had no big moments but I just tried to rein it in a little bit and I saw that my gap behind to Marco was just moving forward, tenth by tenth, so it was about consolidation at the end. When I lost the edge grip it was just not possible to stay in front but I did try. I am happy with the results from this weekend as the bike has never really worked that well here and we were on the back foot on Friday. So to make the set-up changes we did, and make some big steps, I am really happy with the team - so thanks to them. We came away with 40 points, from Lausitzring, which I am satisfied with.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “Things in that race definitely did not go to plan early on. I got a good start but touched the back of Savadori in turn one, so lost all the advantage of the good start. When I got clear laps towards the end, that’s when I started going towards a normal feeling again. Before that I did not have the confidence to pass the other guys on the brakes and I was suffering every time I tried to line them up. I was just losing out because I could not get off the turns as well as I wanted to. It was an awkward fight all race and I am disappointed that I did not have the confidence to make passes under heavy, heavy braking. I wanted to get on the podium for sure but unfortunately we did not make the best of our situation. We will keep working and there are still four rounds left.”